A complete guide to preventing and treating respiratory diseases in winter

A complete guide to preventing and treating respiratory diseases in winter

The cold winter season brings many challenges to our respiratory system. First of all, low temperatures are conducive to the survival and spread of germs, extending their lifespan in the air; secondly, due to longer indoor time, fewer outdoor activities, and closed windows, the risk of respiratory tract infections increases. .

How to better prevent infection? How to recover as quickly as possible after getting sick? Wu Wenbo, director of traditional Chinese medicine at Shijiazhuang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, reminded that protecting the respiratory mucosal barrier is very important for preventing infection and early recovery.

How to protect the respiratory mucosal barrier?

Respiratory tract infection is a general term for upper and lower respiratory tract infections, mainly caused by viruses, bacteria, atypical pathogens and fungi. Among them, acute upper respiratory tract infection, referred to as upper respiratory tract infection, is a general term for acute inflammation from the external nostril to the lower edge of the cricoid cartilage, including the nasal cavity, pharynx or larynx; lower respiratory tract infection refers to the infection of the trachea, bronchi and lungs below the cricoid cartilage, including Trachea-bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. Wu Wenbo said that the symptoms of respiratory tract infections vary depending on the type of disease or pathogenic bacteria, but generally there are symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, watery nose, sore throat, cough, fever, chills, headache and other symptoms. Lower respiratory tract infection may also cause purulent sputum or bloody sputum, accompanied by shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, etc.

“Viruses such as influenza virus, new coronavirus, and respiratory syncytial virus must enter cells to reproduce and replicate, so the health of respiratory epithelial cells is very important.” Wu Wenbo said that the respiratory mucosal barrier is an important barrier to prevent virus invasion.

Wu Wenbo suggested that first of all, we should pay attention to drinking more water and replenishing water. When dehydrated, the respiratory tract will quickly feel dry, and the mucosal barrier function will deteriorate. In addition, it is necessary to take in enough vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin D and nutrients such as protein to ensure adequate outdoor activities and sunlight exposure.

How can people who are already sick, especially children, recover as quickly as possible? Wu Wenbo emphasized that children with fever must not go to school sick, because fever indicates that the infection is not under control. Not only is it easy to transmit the disease to other students, but there is also a risk that the condition will worsen into pneumonia.

From a treatment perspective, what should patients with respiratory diseases pay attention to during their recovery period? Wu Wenbo believes that the recovery of children’s respiratory tract requires a certain amount of time. The cilia of respiratory epithelial cells need to grow. This is a “nurturing” process. Generally speaking, it takes at least two weeks to a month to fully recover. During the recovery period, pneumonia patients may need aerosol treatment to further fight inflammation and promote respiratory mucosal repair.

It is worth noting that during the process of “rearing”, patients may also be infected with other pathogens. Therefore, during the recovery process, attention should be paid to non-drug intervention, such as blocking transmission routes such as droplets and aerosols. During the season of high incidence of respiratory diseases, it is especially necessary to continue to take personal protection, such as wearing masks, ventilating more, gathering less, washing hands frequently, etc. You can also use immune modulators under the guidance of a doctor to enhance the immunity of the respiratory system.

How to improve cardiopulmonary function and prevent respiratory diseases?

Respiratory diseases are more common in winter. During the recovery process, patients may experience chest tightness, shortness of breath, cough, and persistent phlegm in the throat. Wu Wenbo said that breathing exercises are necessary to improve the above-mentioned symptoms of impaired respiratory function.

Wu Wenbo said that breathing exercises can not only help improve the ventilation efficiency of the lungs and promote sputum excretion, but also help enhance cardiopulmonary function, thereby preventing the recurrence of respiratory diseases.

So, how do you do breathing exercises? Wu Wenbo brings you three training movements.

Action 1: Pursed lips breathing

Gently close your lips, inhale slowly through your nose, and count silently for 3 seconds; then draw your lips together like blowing out a candle, exhale slowly, and count silently for 6 seconds.

Action 2: Abdominal breathing

Place your hands on your abdomen or lower ribs, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. When you inhale, expand your belly to the maximum extent, and when you exhale, your abdomen will sink to the maximum extent. Be careful not to raise the chest as much as possible, mobilize the diaphragm to the greatest extent, and the exhalation time is twice as long as the inhalation time.

Action 3: Chest expansion activities

Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. When inhaling, do chest expansion exercises. When exhaling, retract the arms. When inhaling again, abduct the arms. When exhaling, retract the arms. When inhaling again, raise the arms. When exhaling, retract the arms. .

“The above three movements can be done standing, sitting, or lying down, 3 times a day, 3 groups each time, 10 in each group.” Wu Wenbo said.

Wu Wenbo reminded that if you feel any discomfort during breathing exercises, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness, blurred vision, etc., you should pause and rest in time. People suffering from pulmonary hypertension, congestive heart failure, deep vein thrombosis, unstable fractures and other diseases should consult a doctor before training.

Wu Wenbo also said that in order to better improve cardiopulmonary function, in addition to breathing exercises, it is recommended to perform 20 to 40 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise 3 to 5 times a week, such as walking, cycling, dancing, and playing ball. wait.

Which medicinal teas can relieve respiratory infection symptoms?

“In addition to keeping warm and enhancing immunity in winter, you can also use some medicated teas to relieve the symptoms of respiratory diseases.” Wu Wenbo introduced several medicated teas, hoping to protect the health of readers.

Nourishing Yin Tremella Porridge

Ingredients: 3 grams of adenophora, 250 grams of yam, 12 grams each of Polygonatum odoratum and Ophiopogon japonicus, 15 grams of red beans, and 8 grams of white fungus.

Method: Put adenophora, Polygonatum odoratum and Ophiopogon japonicus into a medicine bag, add appropriate amount of water and simmer for about 40 minutes. Set aside the soup. Then put the red beans into the pot, add water and soak for an hour, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low heat, cook for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and simmer for about an hour. Turn the medicinal soup on high heat, add red beans, yam, white fungus and appropriate amount of sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat, turn off the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Efficacy: It can nourish yin and clear away heat, replenish qi and nourish blood, and improve symptoms such as fatigue and less gas, dry cough and less phlegm, dry mouth and tongue, irritability, excessive sweating, and dry defecation.

Almond, Sichuan clam and lily porridge

Ingredients: 30 grams each of almonds and lilies, 15 grams Sichuan clams, 50 grams glutinous rice.

Method: Wash the almonds, Sichuan clams and lilies, add appropriate amount of water and cook for about 1 hour. Remove the medicinal residue, then add the glutinous rice and cook for about 30 minutes.

Efficacy: It can reduce qi, moisten the lungs, relieve cough, and improve symptoms such as cough with phlegm, chest tightness and shortness of breath, dry mouth and tongue.

Platycodon tea

Ingredients: 10 grams of Platycodon grandiflorum, 5 grams of licorice, appropriate amount of green tea.

Method: Put platycodon, licorice and green tea into a pot, add appropriate amount of water, bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. As tea.

Efficacy: It has the effects of relieving lungs, eliminating phlegm, relieving cough and soothing throat, and is suitable for colds, pharyngitis and other diseases.

Almond Osmanthus Tea

Ingredients: 10 grams of almonds, 5 grams of osmanthus, appropriate amount of green tea.

Method: Put the almonds and osmanthus into the pot together, add appropriate amount of water and green tea, bring to a boil, then turn to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. As tea.

Efficacy: It has the effects of moistening the lungs, relieving coughs, resolving phlegm and relieving asthma. It is suitable for symptoms such as cough with excessive phlegm and asthma.

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